Abuse in nursing homes is a serious issue and should never be tolerated. Identifying and reporting nursing home abuse is essential for preventing harm to vulnerable elderly patients. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the different types of nursing home abuse, signs of abuse and neglect, and how to report the issue to the proper authorities. It also provides resources for people affected by nursing home abuse and looking for assistance. With this guide, you will be better informed and empowered to protect your loved ones living in nursing home facilities.
Changes in behavior or personality
People experiencing abuse may see a change in their personality or behavior. They may become more withdrawn or depressed, sleep or eat more, or be socially withdrawn. They may seem anxious or nervous or report feeling confused or forgetful. Some may become aggressive or combative or withdraw from family members. Over time, people experiencing abuse may become more dependent on others for basic needs and care. Recognizing changes in personality or behavior can help you identify and report abuse.
Tearful and fearful of being alone
If your loved one is usually outgoing and social and suddenly becomes tearful and fearful of being left alone, it could signify emotional abuse. Suppose a facility staff member continually pressures your loved one to participate in social activities they do not want to do (such as eating with a group). In that case, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. Physical isolation can be another sign of emotional abuse. This could signify emotional abuse if your loved one is being kept away from other residents or prevented from attending activities.
Bruising, marks, and physical signs
Abuse can also be physical, including but not limited to striking, hitting, pushing, shoving, or confining. Bruising, cuts and broken bones are signs of physical abuse. Other physical symptoms include unexplained changes in your loved one’s health or condition. For example, your loved one may have unexplained bed sores, unexplained weight loss or gain, or unexplained pain.
How to report nursing home abuse
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, you can report it to the authorities. First, call your loved one’s doctor to report physical injuries or health changes that may be signs of abuse. Then, report abuse to the appropriate authorities. You can call your state’s long-term care ombudsperson, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Senior Health and Safety hotline, or your state’s long-term care regulator. If you are unsure who to call, a Google search for your state’s social services department or health and human services department should be helpful. You can also report abuse to your loved one’s nursing home directly, and you ask a lawyer to get help today for your concerns. Your report may lead to an investigation and, hopefully, justice for your loved one.
Abuse in nursing homes is a serious issue that is often overlooked. Identifying and reporting nursing home abuse is essential for preventing harm to vulnerable elderly patients. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the different types of abuse, signs of abuse and neglect, and how to report the issue to the proper authorities. With this guide, you will be better informed and empowered to protect your loved ones living in nursing home facilities.